A Legacy to Cherish . . . or Destroy

 

Worcester is my adopted home town. I arrived in 1970 to attend Clark University and over the course of decades since I’ve grown more and more interested in the town itself; how it grew, how it changed, what’s been lost, and where we’re going. This led me, several years ago, to take on the project of photographing the “built environment” of our city – every office building, factory, hotel, house, garage, park, monument, mural, marker, bridge, roadway, cemetery, barber shop, nail salon, store, restaurant, and more. Yes, everything.

What started as a hobby has now turned into an obsession, driven by a love for the city and an urge to document its character before urban renewal, commercial greed, and simple stupidity reduced Worcester to a generic place full of cheap, ugly boxes holding people and their stuff. In the process of exploration and discovery, I became more and more interested in the history of those who created all of the wonderful (and not-so-wonderful) things that remain as well as the legacy they left for us to cherish or destroy.

One thing led to another and eventually I started collecting historical postcards to help me compare past and present, especially when the past had been vaporized. My original plan was to display them side-by-side with contemporary photographs to illustrate the changes. But, soon after the first postcards started hitting my doorstep, I discovered an unanticipated bonus – there were messages from the past, written by people who lived or traveled through Worcester. (Well, of course!)

Thus began this project, sharing the postcards and, where applicable, documenting the messages that people sent as well as exploring the mysteries hidden in their often-cryptic writings. I hope you find it fun and interesting.

P.S. I have not abandoned my original vision and will, one day, begin to share the wealth of images of Worcester that I have captured over the years. Stay tuned!!